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Raymond Arthur Blake

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Raymond Arthur Blake Obituary
Raymond Arthur Blake, 78
Considered his family his most important joy in life.
Raymond Arthur Blake Jr., of blessed memory, passed from this world Monday, Sept. 6, 2010, at his home in Alamogordo at the age of 78. He was born Sept. 23, 1931, in South Portland, Maine, to Raymond A. and Phila Mae Hannon Blake.
Ray was a man of quiet dignity and impeccable work ethic, and was a classic example of chivalry, kindness and generosity. He was a sage and a person who had the strength in which an entire family could take refuge. He was never at a loss for a witty "Blake-ism." He was a loving and dedicated father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Above all else Ray was devoted to Betty, his beloved wife of 57 years.
Ray was raised in South Portland, where he lived two blocks from the beach. He enjoyed his summers rowing on the ocean and spent time at band camps. He began working at a young age and worked in many capacities for The Portland Press Herald. Upon graduating from South Portland High School, Ray enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was assigned to the Air Force Marching Band where his passion for music and his talent for playing the baritone brought him to New Mexico. While stationed at Roswell, he met his future wife, Betty LeFaye Rich. They were married Nov. 4, 1952. In 1957 Ray graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and minors in business and education. He then began a long career with the Railway Express Agency. He managed REA offices in Albuquerque, Roswell and Alamogordo. He retired from Bekins Moving and Storage in 1996. After his retirement he spent many years working for the Alamogordo Daily News delivering papers to the paperboys and vendors.
A "Down East-er" at heart, Ray's golden years were filled with memories of Maine beaches, Fourth of July parties in Maine, lobster, shipyards, Amato's Italian sandwiches and "whoopee pies." He loved his sisters and his family. He enjoyed trains, lighthouses and hummingbirds. Being a musician at heart he had a deep appreciation for classical, bluegrass, country and big band music.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his sons Donald and Thomas Blake; and his parents. He is survived by sisters Vertie Knapp, of Stroudsburg, Pa., and Retta Lagdon, of Jacksonville, Fla.; son Robert Raymond Blake and his wife, Nancy, and grandchildren Brian Blake and his wife, Aimee, and Cynthia Blake; Tom's daughter Jaime Jo Pierce; daughter Karen Leon and her husband, Ed, and grandchildren Tina Penn and her husband, Brandon, Lisa Gallegos and her husband, Arturo, Lynda Mahoney and her husband, Steven, Anthony Leon and Mychael Leon; and daughter Linda Bird and her husband, Jim, grandsons James Bird, Derek Bird and his wife, Erin, and Alex Bird. He also leaves behind great-grandchildren Logan Penn, Liam Penn, Madelynn McCabe, Damien McCabe, Dylan Mahoney and Nicholas Pierce.
A celebration of life ceremony will be held at the High Rolls-Mountain Park Community United Methodist Church on Haynes Canyon Road at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, with Ray's grandson Army Chaplain Brian Blake officiating. The family offers heartfelt appreciation to the angels of hospice.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Sept. 16 to Oct. 16, 2010
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